Yesterday I did my tax return. I know that prospect fills most people with gloom, but I actually don’t mind doing it because it is one of the few times when being as obsessive as I am about keeping records and filing everything away actually comes into its own. It’s a bit of a messy job because I am both employed and self-employed, but I’m used to that now, and I just assemble the piles of papers, ban the cat from the desk, open the chocolate biscuits – and begin. (It’s a great improvement to be able to file my tax return online; before that, all of my returns went in to HMRC – or HMCE as it was – with chocolatey fingerprints on them. They probably relied on it for verification of my identity.)
While I was assembling my self-employment facts, I discovered a couple of interesting things. First, I have not been paid by Kobo for two years. Granted, it’s not a king’s ransom – in 2013 they sent a statement saying that they had sold books of mine worth £2.07, and in 2014 it was £9.57 – but still, no money had appeared in the bank account I had specified when I signed up with them. I emailed them to ask what had gone wrong, and received a prompt and cheery assurance that full payment would be made at the end of this month. No explanation for the delay, so it seems that with Kobo they will send you a sales summary, but unless you ask for the money, they assume you’re doing it for love.
And second, this year I have made just under £1,500 from being a writer. That’s mostly the payment I receive from writing my weekly column for the local paper; being a struggling author of historical financial crime novels has brought in a whisker over £300. For the year. Perhaps I’d best not give up the day job just yet.